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Monitoring kinematic changes with fatigue in running using body-worn sensors

Christina Strohrmann, Holger Harms, Cornelia Kappeler-Setz, Gerhard Tröster
IEEE Transactions on Information Technology in Biomedicine 2012, 16 (5): 983-90
22677321
In this paper, we investigate monitoring of kinematic changes evoked by fatigue in running using wearable technology. Movement data were recorded with ETHOS devices. ETHOS is the ETH Orientation Sensor, a customized inertial measurement unit for unconstrained monitoring of human movement. We perform two real-world experiments, in which 21 runners of different skill levels participated. The real-world experiments capture two exhausting 45-min runs: one on a treadmill and one on a conventional outdoor track. We describe and evaluate algorithms to extract kinematic parameters from the sensor data. We identified parameters that change with fatigue for all runners, ones that change for runners of distinct skill levels, and ones that are dependent on an individual's running technique. Overall, we found that observations from treadmill running are not always generalizable to outdoor running. We, thus, argue for using wearable technology to provide athletes and trainers with continuous, quantitative objective measurements of running technique. These could be used to further gain insight into the complex relationship of running kinematics, injury risk, fatigue, and running economy.

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